A 15-Year-Old Japanese Maiden Reigns in International Ballet Competition
Young Japanese shine abroad lately like a table tennis prodigy Miu Hirano who won the World Women's TT Championships in Philadelphia in October last year as the youngest ever to win the competition. Also young is a girl from Kanagawa Elena Iseki, aged 15, who just reigned in an international ballet competition held in Vienna.
The ballet competition is a new stage held for the first time to rear promising ballet talents and Erena challenged its Junior Pair division. The competition is called European Ballet Grand Prix and invited as judges the principals of ballet schools associated with the opera theaters in Paris and Berlin.
Elena Iseki studies at the Berlin National Ballet Academy danced Pas de deux with a Brazilian boy, 17, who studies also at the same academy, to win the grand prix in the Pas de deux junior division.
Elena Iseki grinned:
"I've trained a lot and danced a lot. So, I'm very happy to have won the prize. I believe I've gained confidence in pursuing my career in overseas ballet troupes in the future".
The competition targets ages 7 through 26 years and this time it was limited to ages above 10 years. A total 6 competitors challenged from Japan including Elena Iseki and Minami Watanabe also from Kanagawa.
Elizabeth Plate, the principal of the Ballet Academy of the opera house in Paris, commented:
"The Japanese are extremely high in concentration and fast rising in skills. The more ballet competitions, the higher the chances of finding talents in Japanese dancers."
So there it is. Japanese youngsters are fast rising both in the number of talents and in the areas of performance. Table tennis is one, ballet is another - and let us not forget in swimming. Do you recall an enormous junior breatstroker who just set a world record? Ippei Watanabe, of course. His 2:06:67 is here to stay for some time. (Nathan Shiga)